Chicago Bears and Mike Martz: A Match Made in Heaven?

Max KienzlerAnalyst IJanuary 10, 2010

27 Jan 2002: Head coach Mike Martz of the St. Louis Rams looks up at the crowd after their NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The St. Louis Rams beat the Philadelphia Eagles 29-24 to advance to the Super Bowl.  DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Elsa /Getty Images
Elsa/Getty Images

All right, let me start this article off by saying one thing: I dislike Mike Martz as a person, as a analyst and as a head coach.

That aside, he might be a good fit at the offensive coordinator position for the Chicago Bears.

(I must give credit to Jake Perper, who first introduced the idea several weeks ago after Martz expressed interest. For his opinion, check here .)

Now I realize ever since he was the Rams offensive coordinator during their Super Bowl run back in 1999, Martz hasn't exactly put together a sparkling resume.

He had a stint with lowly Lions as their offensive coordinator and then a single season as the OC in San Francisco before being let go and then became a TV analyst (which included blasting Jay Cutler a number of times).

But one thing Martz has been able to do is maximize good quarterbacks abilities. Let us take a look at his history:

First is Kurt Warner, who will forever be in my mind the greatest single Cinderella story of all time in any sport for one single player.

In the three seasons in which Martz was calling plays and Warner started more than half the season, (two seasons were cut short due to injuries) Warner threw 98 touchdown passes, 12,612 yards and had an average completion percentage of 67.1.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The Rams made the playoffs in all three years, made the Super Bowl twice and won the Super Bowl once.

Following Warner was Marc Bulger, who took over as the full-time starter in 2003 and 2004 (before Martz took a leave of absence in 2005). In those two seasons, Bulger had the best two-year stretch of his career, tossing 43 touchdowns for 7809 yards and a completion percentage of 64.7. The Rams went 20-12 in those two seasons.

In the following season, Martz took over as the offensive coordinator in Detroit. During the ensuing two season, Lions QB Jon Kitna threw for a total of 39 touchdowns for 8,276 yards (both seasons had Kitna above the 4,000 yard marker) and had a completion percentage of 62.9. This after nine seasons (five of those as starter) in which Kitna has never reached the 4,000 yard marker.

(I will make it clear that the Lions record was still pitiful those two years. 3-13 in the first year and 7-9 the second. While I want Martz, I will not try to convince you that he is perfect.)

After the Lions fired Martz, he spent a brief time in San Francisco that resulted in some mediocre statistics, with quarterbacks J.T. O'Sullivan and Shaun Hill combining for 21 touchdowns (plus 19 interceptions) for 3,724 yards and a combined completion percentage of 60.5. The team as a whole went 7-9.

Throughout this tumultuous 2009 season, the Chicago Bears have been able to reassure themselves that they have a quarterback with all the skills to be great, he just needs that coordinator who understands it.

Give him an offense like Martz's and the speed at wide receiver that Martz likes, and this offense could take off... both literally and figuratively.

Now the main argument, and the best one really, is that Martz does not utilize the running back nearly enough or as effectively as one would hope.

While I admit that Marshall Faulk's rushing numbers were not nearly what they could have been if he had been given the chance, his receiving numbers were incredible. From 1999-2003, Faulk recorded 376 receptions for 3,470 yards and 25 touchdowns. 

Plus, Faulk managed to rack up 5,893 rushing yards in that five-year period with 4.9 yards per carry. Now I realize that Faulk is a Hall of Fame player, so you can make the case that he should have or could have an even better career if Martz had run the ball more but those numbers are still nothing to sneeze at.

And to be frank, after a poor sophomore season, the best asset Matt Forte has at the moment is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

While I am not pushing for the Bears to abandon the run all-out, I am saying that we should not condemn Martz just for his lack of emphasis on the run.

Martz and Lovie Smith were coordinators together with the Rams and Martz has even admitted interest in the Bears coordinator position before it was even "officially" available.

I do not like Martz, but if he can come in and bring out the best in Cutler and our receivers and most importantly our offense, I am all for it.

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!